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SunCoke Energy, Inc. (NYSE: SXC) today will host its first Investor Day and provide its 2013 business outlook.
“2012 was a year of executing on our commitments and building the base for the future,” said Frederick “Fritz” Henderson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SunCoke Energy. “Our entire U.S. cokemaking fleet performed well, with our new Middletown operations making a substantial contribution. We made tangible progress in our growth strategy with the recently announced plan to form a cokemaking joint venture with VISA Steel in India, the filing of a permit application to potentially build another U.S. cokemaking facility and pursuit of a planned initial public offering of a Master Limited Partnership. We also generated significant free cash flow in 2012 and expect to close the year with nearly $240 million of cash.”
Henderson continued, “Looking ahead to 2013, we expect to continue to drive operations excellence throughout our business. While we expect to maintain positive momentum in our cokemaking business, we nevertheless expect lower results in 2013, primarily due to a more than $40 per ton decrease in average sale prices in our coal mining segment. As a result, we estimate full year Adjusted EBITDA for 2013 will be between $205 million and $230 million, down roughly $40-$50 million from 2012.”
To mitigate the impact of significantly lower coal sale prices in its coal operations, the Company is accelerating the execution of an aggressive coal action plan intended to improve efficiencies and lower costs at its Jewell underground mining operations. In addition, the Company plans to increase volumes sourced from its Revelation surface mining venture and purchases of lower-priced third-party coal in 2013. Total 2013 coal sales are projected to be 1.7 million tons versus an estimated 1.5 million in 2012.
On the coke side, the Company expects sustained strong operations across its domestic fleet, with meaningful improvement at its Indiana Harbor facility and the benefit of 12 months of full production at its Middletown facility. Partially offsetting these improvements, lower purchased coal costs per ton are expected to decrease the value of coal-to-coke yield benefits the coke operations realized in 2012. The Company also expects to exceed 100% capacity utilization again in 2013, with projected coke production in excess of 4.3 million tons. SunCoke expects its domestic coke business will continue to achieve Adjusted EBITDA of $55 to $60 per ton in 2013.